King Duncan in Macbeth: Character Analysis, Murder & Quotes

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shamekia Thomas

Shamekia has taught English at the secondary level and has her doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

King Duncan is a minor character in Shakespeare's 'Macbeth,' but his murder casts a long shadow over the play's events. Through character analysis, explore King Duncan as a leader and the events that led to his demise. Updated: 09/07/2021

King Duncan as a Leader

Leadership is one of the most important qualities of a good king. Good leaders set themselves apart from others by being confident in their abilities and committed to their causes. Kings are thought to be strong and noble, capable of protecting an entire country of people. If a king is too kind and gentle, he might lose the respect of the people he is supposed to protect. Some might even envy his power and try to take it away. King Duncan, from William Shakespeare's play Macbeth, is a king who had the respect of the people of his country, but was murdered by a man who coveted his position as king.

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Character Analysis

King Duncan is described as a kind and generous man who is respected by many of the people in Scotland. King Duncan puts the needs of his country above his own needs and tries to provide unity in the kingdom. After Macbeth is told by three witches that he would one day be king, his wife convinces him to murder King Duncan.

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Why does Macbeth murder King Duncan in Macbeth?

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